By Shannon Combs-Bennett, Student
I have to say I had a lot of fun digging through the online probate resources for my family members after completing the US: Probate Records course. I limited my afternoon search to online repositories since research into probate records for my family would take a plane ride or many long hours in a vehicle. With that being said, I think I hit the jackpot in a couple places.
If you are in the same predicament that I am where your ancestors lived in different states, don’t forget that you can find books online. First place I always try is Google Books. They have quite a few older research books on there that you can read and download. Next I try WorldCat because I might get lucky and see that a nearby library has the books I am looking for, or maybe they will inter-library loan it to me. Of course, don’t forget the Internet Archive for those out-of-print genealogy books. I have found so many great resources on these pages and I know you will too!
Since the majority of my family have lived in Indiana I decided to start there. Lucky for me, the books that are quoted as references to this section are now online at Ancestry.com. In fact, as I wrote this blog, Ancestry.com released their new probate collection. So, yeah, I went there and hit the jackpot. Right now I am at a 25% success rate on searches for my Indiana ancestors but I am finding things!
With so many probate records now online with Ancestry.com I think I will be searching here for a while. When those sources dry up I will need to look at physical locations. I guess that means a road trip is in my future! Poor me.
If you are working to your American Records Certificate you will take this course. I enjoyed it and thought the information was presented well and in an easy to understand manner. If you are still learning what probate means, how inheritance works, and have a ton of questions you will get a lot out of this course. As a history lover I enjoyed the background information and may need to beef up my research bookshelf on that subject. I have room next to my small collection of obituary books.
See you online!